Job growth surges, but millions still unemployed

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC News) — The United States added 379,000 new jobs during the first full month of the Biden administration, 80 percent more than economists had predicted.

The unemployment rate remains steady at 6.2 percent.

The monthly jobs report comes ahead of President Biden’s Friday briefing on the economy and a roundtable in support of the American Rescue Plan.

18 million people are drawing unemployment checks. Meanwhile, the Senate is considering limits on who will receive $1,400 direct payments as part of President Biden’s COVID relief plan.

Republicans have complained that much of the bill, including direct aid to states and cities, has nothing to do with the pandemic. The White House disagrees.

“State and local governments need assistance now to keep cops on the beat, to keep teachers, to keep firefighters employed,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says.

The Senate has decided to cut debate down from 20 hours to just three; a “vote-a-rama” on amendments will likely start Friday afternoon.

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